Of note, the concept of virtual reality, or VR, is not recent. It has been floating in the engineering room for several years but lately, some of the long-standing obstacles have been breached by the technology.
Throughout recent years, both in terms of quality and accessibility, these VR headsets have become even more affordable. It may have begun with gadgets such as Google’s cardboard opening the door to anyone with a Smartphone, but even the high-end headphones are now easy to use and much more appealing.
Modern gaming machines are also more capable and in the comfort of your home can help deliver lifelike virtual environments, making it a much more exciting time for VR.
In this section, we highlighted some of the best virtual app development available based on headsets we’ve tried, loved, and checked.
- Oculus Quest
The Oculus Search offers virtual reality gaming and an interactive VR experience everywhere, at $400 with nothing else required. The Quest reminds me of the Nintendo Switch for its simplicity and enjoyment, plus the initialization takes only seconds. The Quest fits perfectly over glasses too. The standalone VR headset has self-contained motion tracking and a six-degree full-motion freedom VR controller which is the same as those on the PC-required Oculus Rift, plus a surprisingly large high-resolution display and built-in speakers.
Games are copied directly into the internal storage of the wireless headset. The more restricted Smartphone processor also plays incredibly well games like Beat Saber, Moss, and Superhot VR, and can also connect to a PC via a standard USB-C cable, if you like.
- Sony Playstation VR
Sony’s 3-plus-year-old PSVR headset appears to be the only head-mounted monitor for game consoles and the screen also provides a remarkably immersive view. Even better, it’s sometimes on sale for as little as $200, even with games mixed in at times. Sony a top virtual app development company has created numerous excellent augmented reality titles, all of which are unique. Only the PSVR and a PlayStation 4 are everything you need and you can start playing. Compared to the alternatives, this VR interface does reveal its generation. Read about our review of the Sony PlayStation VR.
- Oculus Rift S
The Oculus Rift S is an upgrade on the original 2016 Rift PC VR headset, introducing delayed enhancements such as a higher-resolution monitor and self-contained space monitoring to the Rift S headset using five cameras. There’s no need for any external cameras or sensors, making the Rift S much easier to use lightly.
Oculus’ range of games and software is great, and the Oculus Store is easy for first-time Rift users to search through titles. Tracking in-headset for the Rift S isn’t quite as smooth or as large-scale as monitoring the holodeck-like room on the HTC Vive and Valve Page, but not needing to add any additional hardware is a big benefit. The Rift S also uses a cable connected to your Mac, but one cable is fairly lightweight, at least.
- Valve Index
Next year, Valve’s latest headset could be the most fascinating version in PC virtual reality, only for its cool new controls. The “knuckle” controls of Valve are immune to pressure and can detect all five fingers, making them more like gloves. Not many applications already make the most of them, but Valve’s mix-and-match hardware is consistent with the HTC Vive, which is also based on the Steam VR platform. The Index headset has outstanding audio and a wide field-of-view monitor which is very bright.
The index uses boxes external to “lighthouse,” which means you must first place those in a room. It’s not as self-contained as the Rift S of Oculus that can monitor the room with in-headset cameras or the Vive Cosmos HTC. It’s not wireless as well, but if you already have any Vive equipment, you can add to mix and match parts of the Index. Read our review of the Valve Index.
- HTC Index
The Vive Cosmos is a wild-card choice for Windows VR, the follow-up to the 2016 HTC Vive. The Cosmos has self-contained tracking like the Oculus Rift S and a monitor of higher resolution than the original Vive, it has swappable faceplates that can incorporate additional sensors for augmented reality and optical sensor monitoring. The Cosmos can get expensive, but creators may be intrigued by its flexibility. Bonus: The Valve Index features can be included for it. Write all about Cosmos HTC Vive.
Such VR headsets range in quality and specs, varying from all-in-one handheld goggles to room-scale augmented reality setups, ensuring you have a sufficiently powerful computer to operate the helmet and associated sensors. You will also access a broader variety of applications and devices with different VR headsets, ranging from basic Smartphone apps to full-fledged triple-A devices.